Officer C. Olson was, by all accounts, a son of a bitch. His mother, to all who knew her, was literally a bitch. She was one of the surliest and most unkind bitches that ever walked the earth. His childhood was rife with trigger points that inexorably led him down a path that could end in one of two ways: criminal, or cop. But it wasn't just his lineage that endowed him with his moniker, he was as much the epitome of the policeman you never want to get pulled over by as any man could ever be.
He stood six feet, three and a half inches tall. He had a wide build that, once imposing and menacing even as a silhouette, had made it a point to soften annually. Perched deep inside two cavernous eye sockets were steel-grey eyes; eyes that, nearly three decades before, had sent fear into the bloody and beating hearts of every wide receiver and tailback he ever set sight on. The eyes that once glowed with a white-hot fire had cooled, striking now only in the uniformity of the color of his irises. He wore a mustache, partially because that's what cops do, but also because he knew it was the one thing he could still do to piss off his wife. His nose was thick, like a tree branch, extending up into his forehead, ending in a thicket of persistently untamed black hair. It was also slightly crooked, just above the middle, from his one attempt at a life of crime.
He was nineteen when he lost everything. Some fucking faggot from Waycross High School landed a tackle after a down. Sure the referee called a flag on the play for unsportsmanlike conduct. Sure the faggot never went on to become anything important. But neither did Olson. The way the little shit had landed on Olson's leg literally snapped his femur like a twig, a fact that to this day held the Waycross County Hospital's unofficial title of "Most Crazy Broken Bone." They even kept the x-ray on the wall of the waiting room for the ER, the backwards, redneck fucks. After just over a year of physical therapy, Olson was walking around again, mobile, and even able to jog at a decent pace for a few minutes, though nothing sustainable yet. Either way, his hopes of playing football in college, and thus his hopes of going to college at all, were dashed. After graduation, a lot of kids from his high school stuck around town. Rural Tennessee is not known for producing fine academic minds, with a few gracious exceptions. There wasn't a lot to do in Stapleton; a few bars, a grocery store and a movie theatre were the main attractions. If you didn't leave as soon as you could, the town had a way of sucking you in, holding you down until in your last breath you lamented over a wasted life and passed on into the void. Olson had resigned himself to this fate.
Tim Voyt, who insisted well into his fifties that he be called "Timmy" was the first to experiment with the nefarious side of life in Stapleton. That is to say, as nefarious as a town like Stapelton allowed one to be. Timmy and a few other recently graduated boys had hatched a half-witted plan to rob the cash drawer at The Hinge, one of three bars in Stapelton. It didn't occur to Timmy, Olson or any of the other boys that once they had emptied out the cash drawer they'd just turn around and spend the money on booze at The Hinge or some other bar the next night. Planning wasn't their strong suit. What they didn't expect, in all their scheming, was that the bar's owner and a few of the regulars would still be inside, drinking after hours. When Olson kicked in the back door he was surprised to hear hurried footsteps coming through the service door and even more surprised to feel the swift blow of a crowbar cracking across his face. The other boys ran that first forty yards faster than any they had ever put down on the football field, leaving Olson writhing, red hot with pain on the floor of the tiny kitchen of The Hinge.
The bar's owner threw Olson's hulking frame into the cab of his truck and drove Olson home, where he pushed him out the door and left him to bleed in the yard. After what seemed like weeks, Olson noticed movement on the porch. A cat jumping back and forth across the light coming from the screen door? No. A rocking chair. If his sense of smell wasn't fully occupied with the task of smelling his own blood he would've caught the scent of tobacco in the air, and would've detected the growing stench of alcohol and sweat coming towards him at a steady, if stilted, pace. If he hadn't been so preoccupied with the bleeding, the wretched pain and the flap of his ear lobe dangling from a thread of brutalized flesh, he would've felt the first kick land in his stomach. At this point pain was pain, it all melted together and Olson was the fire at the center of his own hot, painful little world.
Olson's dad had given him the beating of a lifetime, a fact that he carried with him for years as a police officer. Olson spent the next day inside the house, dressing his wounds as best as he knew how while his mother shouted at him for hours on end through the locked bathroom door. He wished he had brought a magazine in with him, at the rate she was going he'd be in here for hours with nothing to do but listen to her berate him. The injury, the attempted robbery, the beating of a lifetime, and still the worst year of Olson's life wasn't done with him yet. The next day he went to see Lenora, the only one who had actually been by his side during the painful physical therapy after his injury.
Lenora Merritt was the daughter of the pastor of Stapleton's one and only church, Stapleton Baptist, and was as much a preacher's daughter as Olson was a member of the royal family of England. Still, her reputation for being...gregarious...didn't matter to Olson. To him she was everything. They had started dating while in their senior year of high school and the way she looked at him; it was like he had saved the world. She even started paying attention to her father's sermons, a stark contrast from her noticeably obligatory attendance in the past.
After his injury, Lenora had been Olson's rock. She was the reason he recovered at all. He didn't have much of a spirit to go on, but Lenora prodded and persisted, telling Olson he'd get better. He could still play football. He hadn't told her what the doctors told him at the end of his physical therapy, that he would never play again. He was afraid that she would abandon him, as he had nearly done to himself.
Back in the upstairs bathroom at his house, he was satisfied that he had dressed his wounds as best he could, and none too happy with the damage the crowbar had done to his nose, Olson decided to go see Lenora; hopefully she would make him feel better despite the earlobe that was held to his ear with a band-aid.
"Charles! Heavens what has happened to you?" Mrs. Merritt's faintly detectable accent imbued her words with an inherent sense of urgency and genuine care.
"My fa--Oh. Just, you know," Olson struggled to find an acceptable answer.
"Nevermind all that. Are you okay?"
"Oh, yeah. Real fine. Is um, Lenora home?"
"She is, just upstairs, have a seat in the parlor and I'll get her," she said as she made her way through the kitchen to the back staircase. He heard her calling back to him from down the hall "Charles, honey, do you want some lemonade? Tea? Ice for that face of yours?"
"No, no thanks Mrs. Merritt." Olson suddenly wished he hadn't come at all.
Whatever sentiment of growing dread he felt at having to explain another beating to Mr. Merritt was amplified by the utter fear that gripped him when Lenora walked into the parlor, he face a ghostly white, eyes to the floor. When she looked up and saw Olson, what little color remained in her skin drained and she became nearly translucent. She rushed over to him.
"Charlie-boy! Baby! What happened?" She frantically ran her hands through his tousled black hair and gently touched the bandage on his nose and the bruises on his forehead and cheek"
"It's nothing, really, I just..." Olson hesitated. "I just wanted to come and see you."
"Did your piece of shit dad do this to..." Lenora started to give him the familiar lecture about telling her father what his dad did to him, letting them help.
"Lenora, don't. It's over." Olson interrupted.
Lenora caught herself in the middle of a laugh as she said "You're not kiddin', Charlie-boy." The color that had returned to briefly flush her cheeks drained again as she met his eyes.
"What is it?"
"Charlie?" Lenora paused, her eyes dropping to the floor. "I'm pregnant."
Olson hated working the night shift. He hated it for a lot of reasons. Thanks to some excellent budget cuts by the municipal and state governments, he worked two weeks straight at night with one week off afterward. He then rotated and worked one week straight during the day and had another week off before switching back to nights. This meant that in any given month, he had to spend two weeks sleeping on the couch during the day to avoid sleeping in another man's fresh semen and sweat in his bed and another week at home dealing with his insolent bitch of a wife.
It wasn't that she was always a cheater, but after about three years, when marriage had really become more about a tax break and cheaper rent than about love, he started noticing subtle changes in her. At first it was simple things, like switching her showers from the morning to night, just as he was leaving for work and buying wine instead of beer when he was about to go on a stint of working nights. It later became more overt, she'd be wearing a man's t-shirt in bed when he got home; and the t-shirt was most certainly not his. At this point in his life he had already been through too much to really care, whatever he got was probably what he deserved, so he accepted his reality and did the best he could from his side of the bed.
One morning he came home, stripped down to his boxers and collapsed into bed to find his back suddenly moist. He sat up and reached for the middle of his back until he felt a cool, slimy liquid. He was afraid he knew what it was before he brought his hand up to his face to look more closely.
"Oh fuck! Fucking jizz? Fucking jizz? You fucking slut!" he had shaken her awake, obtusely wiping the semen on the Rolling Stones t-shirt she was wearing.
Either he had really jarred her awake or the bitch had been awake the whole time because she was immediately awake and thrusting her face close to his with her brow furrowed in anger while her arms waved wildly about. Olson flashed back to all the times he had been yelled at and berated as a child and instinctively tuned her out. He thought he made out "at least I don't let him come inside me you fucking prick!" but at this point he was out of bed and putting on the nearest pair of jeans. He grabbed a shirt from a drawer and was preparing to march out the door when he realized the shirt was not even his.
"Fuck! What the fuck?" he screamed as he peeled the shirt off and grabbed another, slamming the bedroom door behind him.
It was the beginning of his week off and he was ready for a bender to make the greatest alcoholics shiver. He felt his father's alcoholic blood beating through his veins, pulsing through his wrists into his clenched fists as he drove his squad car to the first bar he could find where he wouldn't likely know anyone. That was the week he met Anders, and the week the rest of his life had changed.
That was a long time ago, thought Olson as he wrapped up the trash from his double cheeseburger and tossed it into a trash can on his way out the door. He was walking to his patrol car when the dispatcher called a 10-90, F2. Domestic dispute. Fucking great, because I don't deal with that enough already. He responded to the dispatcher that he was en route and aimed his cruiser in the direction of West Lynne Avenue, in a fairly affluent part of Nashville. From the house number it was probably a quiet suburban oasis in the city, certainly not a common stop on his nightly beat.
He left the lights of his cruiser flashing as he approached the door of 18 West Lynne. He knocked twice without announcing himself. On the third knock he peered in the beveled glass window of the house and rang the doorbell. He spotted a light on down the front hallway, probably coming from a kitchen or dining room.
"Nashville PD. Folks, please open your door."
He knocked and rang a fourth time, yelling this time to announce himself.
"Nashville Police Department. Sir or ma'am, please answer your door."
Again no answer. He stepped back from the door and looked at the rest of the house. There was no light coming from any of the other windows at the front of the house. He noticed a decorative fence circling the rear of the property and decided to check out the back yard. As he walked through the gate and into the backyard he instinctively drew his .9 mm from its holster and held it at his side. What the fuck are you doing, Olson? This is a nice neighborhood, nice people. Olson chided himself as he holstered the firearm.
He climbed the five steps to the back porch and saw the blinds of the bay window had been drawn closed, but that there was light and at least one visible silhouette. He walked silently towards the back door, careful to watch the figure in the window. He knocked on the door, making sure his knuckles hit hard enough to be heard in the kitchen one room over. The figure moved out of sight from the window and Olson's heart beat faster in his chest. Still, he'd never had any serious calls to this part of town. Occasionally breaking up a teenager's party while his parents were out of town, but that was about it. He tried the doorknob and was only half-surprised to find it unlocked. He silently thumbed the clasp on his holster and drew his pistol as he entered the house, headed for the source of the light that had been visible from the window. He was halfway into the kitchen, bathed in a cool fluorescent light when he heard a sound behind him.
Officer C. Olson had just enough time to whirl around 180 degrees and face his oppressor; just enough time, a fraction of a second, to see the twisted, familiar smile standing a few feet away from him. And in that fraction of a second, Officer C. Olson became intimately acquainted with a recently superheated piece of lead. The bullet leapt from the gun at what Olson would have known to be about 760 miles per hour if he had had time to register that he was being shot. Instead, he had just enough time to register a muzzle shot before everything went black.
Officer Charles Blake Olson was dead.